Category Archives: Game-based learning

Enterprise Gaming – Once an Opportunity, now a Trend

Having spent a large part of my career in the financial services space driving traditional business growth, using gaming to achieve business goals was not a cause I expected to be championing. Gaming was always a personal interest, but the business parallels only became apparent after we started experimenting with service engagements for enterprises. Given the planet anyway spends 3 billion hours a week playing games, the challenge was really to figure out how learning could fit in that construct.

We formed QuoDeck in 2010 to bring gaming into learning for enterprises. Having started with some elementary game engines and simulations, QuoDeck quickly moved on to make an omnipotent system built with the changing business environment in mind. QuoDeck’s platform today is one of the most powerful and engaging learning platforms in the world, catering to enterprise requirements for mobile learning. And as a leading player in this category, our advice to new entrants is to stay true to course, understand that the market is huge and that innovation is the key.

Mobility is here to stay

Mobile learning was just about appearing on the horizon in India when we entered the market. In fact, it was still at a nascent stage globally as well. While enterprises saw the demographic shift coming, the speed at which the device shift happened took everyone by surprise. Within a period of 3-4 years, millennial users had junked tablets and wouldn’t access their desktops or laptops for anything but sit-down work. They wanted everything on their mobile – on-demand, anytime, anywhere. Being a generation bred on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, they also wanted content and technology that was easy-to-use, visually appealing and in bite-sized pieces. The learning evolution that needed to happen in enterprises was phenomenal and existing products just weren’t prepared for this. Mobility as a trend forced a change in behavior, technology, content creation and consumption patterns across all strata of business.

There is always an element of luck in startup success and we were no different. Perhaps being at the right place at the right time with the right thought process is what its all about. QuoDeck has been at the forefront of this shift, shoulder-to-shoulder with enterprises looking to stay ahead of the curve.

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Gamifying the world

Our personal insight of gaming being habit-creating and creating long-term associative memories, was the inspiration behind the approach we took. Countless times, behaviors and constructs learnt in gaming had been translated by us to address real-world problems with excellent results.

We had a learning curve here as well. Having played on consoles such as PlayStation and Xbox, we assumed the world was ready to deal with highly complex games and constructs. However, working closely with business heads, HR teams and the Learning & Development function, we learnt that hyper-casual games create the best impact from a learning perspective. This is because they are somewhat repetitive in nature, with a greater level of participation & addiction to ‘scoring’.

While we initially worked on gamification applications on functions such as marketing, research, and learning, we chose to go with learning as a primary focus. Having started in this category long before games became the buzzword of today, we were fortunate to be able to take a pole position and we hope to actually drive the future of gamification for learning in the enterprise. But there are still a lot of white spaces to go after in enterprise gamification.

For New Players

Gaming as a learning solution is so vast in its scope, that it can’t be characterized or identified with any particular industry or even a clutch of industries. Wherever there is widespread staff or skilling required, gaming solutions can take charge and lead the change. So, when new players come in, they must remember that competition comes in various guises and is very rarely with another player. You will end up competing for mindshare against the likes of video-on-demand platforms or search engines where users can find information and content at their fingertips. Knowing what creates pull is perhaps the only challenge you should worry about.

Look out for learning opportunities

Gamification as an industry has a widespread application with learning being only one of them. A space was created for us because existing products failed to keep pace with what was required – large entrenched players became irrelevant in a matter of months. Overnight, enterprises recognized that resistance against this changing paradigm was futile, and mindsets started changing. Gaming and mobility were no longer bad words.

It would be foolish of us to think that we cannot be on the other side of such a trend. Keeping your offering relevant and at the cutting-edge requires you to have an innovation engine, which stops for no one. This requires tremendous willpower and a staunch refusal to settle into a comfortable spot.

 

This article was first published at YourStory

By Kamalika Bhattacharya CEO & Co-Founder at QuoDeck Technologies

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5 Benefits of a Learning Management System for Businesses

With a growing need to foster effective learning and cater to the training needs of a global workforce, organizations across the world are implementing learning management systems for corporate training.

A learning management system (LMS) is a software application that can deliver course material to learners, administer assignments and tests, track the performance of participants, manage records, and offer continuous support.

When your business’s corporate training requirements start to become more complex, an LMS is likely to be the best solution that can meet your needs. With that in mind, here are five benefits of a learning management system for businesses:

1. All the eLearning content is accessible from one location

With a cloud-based LMS, your organization’s eLearning content is not stored on different offline hard drives or devices. Instead, its securely saved on the cloud which allows your employees to access eLearning courses wherever and whenever they want. This also greatly reduces the risk of losing data, since all the information is saved on a secured remote server.

The easy accessibility of an online LMS makes it the right fit for organizations that have a global or a remote workforce and it also ends up saving time for your employees.

2. Mobile readiness

Over 99% of the mobile users believe that mobile learning has enhanced their overall learning experience. That is why, with mobile-ready learning management systems, you are able to offer a great user experience to your employees and in turn get increased overall productivity.

Your employees are no longer required to stay at their desk to access and complete online courses. Instead, they can log into the LMS app on their mobile phones and view eLearning content while they are on the move. This is one of the main reasons why 67% of the organizations are already implementing mobile learning in some form or the other.

3. A more engaging learning experience

There was a time when corporate training was all about spending hours listening to an instructor in a conference room. But today, learning is more personalized with LMSes that offer interactive lessons, fun quizzes and games, video conferencing, and forums to discuss the courses.

The new learner-centered approach has not only led to a more engaging experience during the learning process but also helped achieve better results at the end of the course.

Since the LMS is already accessible online, it is possible to integrate social learning into your eLearning strategy. You can create eLearning exercises that are centered around peer collaboration and even add online forums where your workforce can discuss and help each other.

Games augmented reality, and virtual reality can also be leveraged to incorporate interactive simulations and scenarios that can easily explain and highlight complex tasks or processes.

4. Reduced time and costs

With an LMS, you no longer have to worry about instructor costs, printing course material, or setting up a conference room for training sessions. Your employees can carry out all the training online and your business is able to save a sizable sum on your learning and development budget.

Since LMS gives online learners only the information that they need in a more direct and organized manner, you are also able to reduce training time. Instead of sitting through a 3-hour seminar, your employees can just access the online modules on the LMS that they need to learn. With the flexibility that LMS provides, your employees are able to take these courses according to their own time, which doesn’t disrupt their important everyday work as well.

5. Driving compliances is easier

Compliance rules and regulations get regularly modified, but updating your traditional offline course to reflect these changes can be a rather time-consuming task.

With an LMS, it becomes possible to update your learning content according to the new compliance standards in just a matter of a few minutes. This is in stark contrast to the traditional courses where you would have to send the updated courses to every employee separately and different versions of the same course could create even more confusion.

LMS can ensure that all of your employees are on the same page about the company policies and the compliances are always followed.

In conclusion

A learning management system clearly has numerous benefits. You are able to create a more skilled, productive, and engaging workforce in your organization while saving time and costs. It’s also possible to track the training progress of all of your employees and generate reports in real-time.

That is why it is no surprise that more and more organizations are implementing LMSes for their workforce. When are you incorporating an LMS in your organization?

Discomfort is the Route to Entrepreneurial Success

So why is Discomfort so essential for entrepreneurial success and how to embrace it?

Entrepreneurship has always been about seeking out the new, in uncharted waters. Across ages, be it explorers or individuals, who have made a mark in their chosen fields or Entrepreneurs who have sought to change the world, have stepped out of their comfort zones. In an age when comfort is the buzzword for consumers, Discomfort is the mantra with which Entrepreneurs need to live by. Discomfort is not about putting oneself in a tough spot. It is stepping out from what you know, to the unknown. Exploring new opportunities, new areas of interest and nurturing a vision. An Entrepreneur seeks of problems and makes solutions for those problems while tackling the new-world questions which arise with these solutions. And that is where discomfort stems from. From seeking the unknown, from seeing problems in a new lens and attempting new paths. So why is Discomfort so essential for entrepreneurial success and how to embrace it?

To read the full article, click here

Fun and games to upgrade your skills

Arijit Lahiri and Kamalika Bhattacharya, who spent over a decade in organisations like ABN Amro Bank and Intellecap, saw learning department heads begging, bullying and even bribing their learners to stick to their learning agenda.
So they put on their marketing hats to understand what would catch learners’ attention. “Game-based learning pretty much screamed itself up,” says Bhattacharya. Games allow for more engaging learning experiences while also making the learner behaviour more measurable and analysable. Today, their company, QuoDeck (earlier Ptotem), uses board games, murder mysteries and treasure hunts as learning methods, and these have been used by organisations like PepsiCo, Unilever, Aditya Birla Group and Tata Group.

To read the full article, click here

5 ways to leverage AR and VR for training your employees

According to IDC, the estimated market opportunity of Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality (AR/VR) solutions by 2020 will be $143 billion. Companies of all sizes are increasingly using AR and VR for corporate training and to acclimatize their new employees to the work environment.

In fact, according to STRIVR, learning retention rates with AR/VR can be as high as 75 percent as compared to just 10 percent retention rate through reading or lecture. Whether its management, customer services, or seasonal situations, businesses are successfully using AR and VR for numerous purposes.

For your company, that means if you are still not incorporating AR and VR in corporate training, then you are missing out on a lot. Here are some of the ways you can take advantage of AR and VR for training your employees.

1- VR workplace tours for new employees

With a virtual tour of the workplace, your new employees can familiarise with their new work environment, even before actually coming to the office. For you, it means your employees will be ready to get started with their work right from the first day since their learning curve will reduce greatly.

They would already know the breakrooms, bulletin boards, their team leader’s office, and their own cubicle when they arrive. You could also design the entire onboarding training module for new employees as a VR tour to make it more engaging and interactive.

2- Emergency drills

Emergency drills are a necessity for every company, and they have to make sure those drills are being conducted from time to time. But just getting a safety expert to explain the different scenarios to your employees is not enough. Most people find emergency drills boring as it interrupts their work, and they often don’t even pay attention to it.

However, you can create emergency drills using AR/VR technologies to check if the employees can handle stress and identify the correct security protocols through simulations. The biggest advantage of this is that employees can take these courses according to their own time.

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3- Task walkthroughs

To help your employees get a better understanding of the tasks that they need to perform on a daily basis, you can create online training simulations which would allow them to learn in a virtual environment.

With these simulations, they can determine the skills and steps they need to follow to complete a task, and it would also give them the opportunity to learn from their mistakes without any consequences.

Bear in mind, it’s important to make sure that the simulations are as realistic as possible to provide your employees with a fully immersive experience that they can implement in the real world.

4- Compliance training

For companies, compliance training is one of the most important and mandatory processes, and they have to make sure their employees are well accustomed to it. But handing out a large document to every employee and hoping that they would read every line of it is not enough and it may not even help your organisation in the long run.

Instead, you can use AR/VR to create virtual workplace environments where employees can get a better idea about the compliances they need to adhere to through online simulations. You can also create game-based lessons where employees are given different situations to see how they would respond to it, whether its accepting gifts from a client or a workplace injury.

5 – Virtual case studies

There is no better way to understand the business and skills, than by going through previous case studies which had successful results. But most case studies are text-based and they aren’t as engaging. With AR/VR technology, your employees can understand these case studies in a more interactive way, as they will be able to see those examples in action.

By adding simulations, activities, and fun quizzes, the otherwise boring case studies become more life-like and allow your employees to retain more knowledge.

Getting the most out of AR/VR training

By implementing VR and AR technologies, you are also able to measure the performance of your employees accurately. Heat maps make it possible to see exactly where users look during their 360-degree experience and the instructors can monitor trainees in real-time. You can create VR/AR applications that can be easily integrated with your Learning Management Systems (LMS) as well.

In conclusion

Augmented and virtual reality training provides an innovative and new way to increase employee engagement, improve productivity, and save costs while offering a cutting-edge learning experience. With the latest advancements that have happened in the AR and VR technologies, the barriers are quickly fading away making it a viable option for immersive training for any industry.

Informal Learning For Startups: Preparing For Internal Social Collaboration

Classroom teaching has been debunked for newer forms of learning and engagement across organizations. Interestingly, startups seem to be the ones driving companies towards such learning. Read about it in detail here.

The Use Of Informal Learning For Startups

Working in any organization involves learning, and at different levels. The most common approach is a presentation and exemplifying, followed by learning and then repetition. However, this technique may not always yield appropriate results. Several startups in today’s business ecosystem have realized that one needs to make a framework in order to get a complete view of a learner’s overall needs.

There is no doubt that L&D plays a very important part in developing successful leaders amongst Millennials across organizations. With increase in competition, companies have started pursuing more efficient as well as effective methodologies of social learning. [1] As per an international survey conducted by McKinsey & Company, 82% respondents declared that they were making use of some form of internal social network. Since informal learning comes to 90% of total work-based learning, this is bound to happen.

Though it is known that internal social networking is highly beneficial to any company, putting together a suitable network is easier said than done. Gartner’s estimate claims that about 90% initiatives for social collaboration fail due to the “provide-and-pray” approach- one which says that any new initiative does not necessarily require massive marketing and internal promotion.

Jacques Bughin at McKinsey states that if internal social networks need to be counted as success stories, at least 30-40% of staff must be utilizing in every day. If that does not happen, then the social learning initiative will gradually fade away and you will not get the expected results.

This is what Sylvia Vorhauser-Smith, Senior Vice President at PageUp, a well-known HR software company, said during her answer to L&D professionals’ questions on informal learning methods: [2]

Investment in informal learning is increasing as more and more organizations realize just how ‘sticky’ on-demand micro-content such as online blogs, podcasts, and videos are for engaging employees of all generations. With advancements in mobile learning technology, it’s now much easier for employees to share informal learning content with their peers, sending it viral across the organization. (…) People have always learnt informally, and formal education and training has supplemented that. Enterprises are now just leveraging what is a very natural and intuitive way of increasing their employees’ knowledge and skills.

3 Steps To Develop An Informal Learning Strategy

1. Engagement Strategy

Informal learning helps in attaining a massive amount of organizational knowledge, through a varied and exciting learning program which enables learners to make advancements in their careers. Only a clear engagement strategy can ensure that learners are motivated enough to participate in the very first instance. Rewards and recognition can be a good method to engage them. Make use of a game-based learning platform to create a meaningful program for them. This should be accessible through all devices, even mobiles.

2. On-The-Job Admin Team

It is natural that an elaborate learning module will require several moving parts. Every member of the L&D team should understand the aims of this initiative. If managers can become gung-ho about the new training initiatives, they will certainly become extensions of your own admin team. The organization’s culture of adapting it is what will help you move forward with the initiative.

3. Open Community

One of the major reasons for the success of any informal learning program is its nature of providing autonomy to the user. Though the user is empowered through the Learning Management System, it is also necessary to link needs of the user with those of the organization. When employees participate in open forum discussions, they get a sense of belonging with the company. At the same time, the LMS leads to better engagement levels for employees.

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Informal Learning In The Startup Environment

The changing landscape of business across India has seen the magnificent and unprecedented growth story of startups. And there is no reason why such learning cannot benefit these small organizations as well. In most cases, startups do not have the necessary funds in order to execute a full-fledged L&D program. They also do not possess requisite manpower for the same, which again brings informal training to the fore.

Adaptability And Flexibility

These are two key parameters that employees working at a startup always have to keep in mind. Well, the same goes for the learning program as well, and that’s the beauty of informal training. It has to be constantly adjusted and tweaked as per the needs of the startup. And yes, this is certainly the need of the hour since the startup is constantly evolving. By having a formal structure in place, it will no longer be possible to adjust.

Here is one of the reasons why informal learning programs can be most successful with startups. As mentioned above, learning is most effective when the user becomes autonomous. In other words, self-led learning has the potential for maximum rewards. Try to understand; who is the person who learns the most in the daily working of a startup? Well, you guessed it right – it is the average employee who is possibly engaging with clients on a daily basis. He or she is the person who will be facing the maximum number of doubts, and by being at the seat of the informal training program, he or she will also get the fastest answers. This will naturally lead to greater retention, as the employee will understand how the organization is committed towards his or her welfare.

New Vision For eLearning On A Global Scale

Today technology is advancing at a pace quicker than any one of us could have ever imagined. Eventually, there will come a time when our systems of pedagogy will be unable to handle the impact of global change. For this reason, a new vision needs to be drawn out, and informal learning is certainly a part of the same.

We are currently residing in societies which have the facilities to be able to network, collaborate and coordinate on an international scale. When we look at bringing about innovation to organizations, it becomes increasingly certain that those involved in such endeavours need to come up with a long-term vision on the future of eLearning, according to a universal global standard.

Startups can really help to take the above vision, and here’s why. They are the companies which get into territories that no one else does. They are the ones considered to be the harbingers of change in society. So if they drive forward the new eLearning vision, there is no reason why the world’s organizations will not follow.

 

This article was first published at eLearning Industry.com.

 

References: 

  1. Transforming the business through social tools
  2. Why informal learning is a worthwhile investment

Which LMS should an organization with 100000+ employees switch over to?

Learning management systems come in all flavors and mostly you will consider selecting between Moodle, Blackboard, SkillSoft, etc. based on the features you want to implement. All of them can provide the feature set you are looking for, and the choice really comes down to the quality of implementation partner you find for each.

I will propose an alternative to these, with the caveat that our company has developed a product which fits this and this might be construed as a bit of shameless self-promotion.

For large organizations, we believe a single large LMS does not work. Each team in the company wants customized content structures, workflows and analytics. We propose using a MicroLMS system which distributes the learning processes across the firm and makes it more effective.

The implementation should allow for each team in the organization to own and operate their own MicroLMS. These teams could be based on actual team structures or pseudo structures like leadership groups, induction groups, etc. Each MicroLMS has a business owner who can configure the LMS features and settings to the specific requirements of their team. This keeps the administration and user experience light and on a all-that-is-required and only-what-is-required basis.

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Each MicroLMS ideally should have an inbuilt authoring tool which allows for easy content creation by business owners using presentations that they already would likely have. Put another way, you should not require to go hunting for Captivate and Articulate experts to create SCORM packages.

The apex learning team should get a centralized control panel which allows them to view and analyze aggregated data and focus on analytics and efficiency rather than learning logistics. Of course, the central team needs to have God powers on all constituent MicroLMS, but then the expectation is these should not need to get used.

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The basic thought process behind this is that in large organizations, learning needs to be owned by business owners like any other business process. In our implementations across a fair number of Fortune 500 companies, we have found the business owners prefer it this way anyways.

That’s the alternative which we propound, and my advice would be that irrespective of whether it is our product or not, consider using a MicroLMS approach for such a large audience size.

If you would want to have a look at our LMS product, do drop me a message.

 

By Arijit Lahiri, Co-Founder of QuoDeck

 

The Indian Startup Show A Weekly Podcast Show About Indian Startups Entrepreneurs & More! Hosted by Neil Patel & Friends

Ep69: ­Arijit & Kamalika, Co-founders of QuoDeck – Meet the husband & wife team disrupting the traditional learning industry…One game at a time!

Both share great insights on life as an entrepreneur. The setbacks, the fun, building a team. Getting out of the comfort zone. Management styles, Quitting corporate life after 15 years and how they first met! So please enjoy the show.

To listen to the Podcast.

3 Types of Startups Who Need a Learning Culture to Succeed

Most startups work towards the one thing which matters most – Survival. In the crucial early years, startups are consumed by solving critical challenges like getting their product/service off the ground, creating differentiation with consumers, hiring the right team and raising capital. Most times this leaves no bandwidth for anything else and lower order priorities like training usually take a backseat – and, rightly so. Most startups can do without structured learning for a very long time, and instead, driving a culture of ‘figuring it out’ and self-learning can help teams remain cutting-edge and current. However, if you are a particular type of startup, then learning is actually quite critical to the success of your business model.

To read the full article, click here 

 

The newest realities of the business world are Augmented & Virtual

Augmented Reality & Virtual Reality have changed the way corporates look at content dissemination. With handheld devices like smartphones becoming faster and more powerful, the scope is limitless. These technologies offer highly immersive experiences making them appropriate for engaging with the audience.

While many still consider them to be a fad, the research being put into improving these technologies proves otherwise. More and more apps are being created to enhance the experience. Newer phones with better processing power and wider screens are being introduced to enable a close to real experience for the user. The new Iphones offer a new iteration of Augmented Reality right out of the box. It is time to take this medium seriously and to start riding this technology wave.

QuoDeck AR & VR

What can these technologies do for your company? How can you exploit it for your benefit? Though there are multiple uses, listed below are a bunch of uses they are being put to.

Product Simulation:

Full immersive experience gives you an opportunity to test your product as it evolves. Running tests in a virtual environment simulates a real world experience without the high costs involved in real life testing. This is perfect, when you need to develop a complex product that requires user feedback and iterations. With these technologies viewers can be given all the information through a close to real scenario.

Imagine a bank or an after-sales service provider can train and test the prototype with employees and customers even as the actual product is being built, a virtual experience can be offered to potential users to gauge their reactions and alter designs and plans on the go.

Training:

AR-VR also offers the perfect environment for training. Be it multilayered product, complex processes or simple real life sales simulations. Your employees are placed in the midst of the action and they can interact with objects just like in the real world. Being a first person viewing experience, the viewer can instinctively explore and discover.

Imagine you have a set of new recruits who need to undergo an onboarding process before they can start off. Usual onboarding happens through classroom sessions or presentations. With AR / VR you can let the new joinees explore the office using beacons or markers and explore the actual space or let them explore multiple office locations virtually and interact with objects and learn. They can also be assessed on their learning in the same virtual environment to derive real-time assessment data.

Data collection & analysis:

The best part about a virtual test is the ease of experiential data collection. Every move made by the user can be tracked and analyzed as it happens, giving you highly detailed and comprehensive data. This can be analyzed as reports to forecast marketing plans, product development and future trends. The environment can be altered to change the experience based on the data collected from viewer’s interactions.

In both cases mentioned above, data collection and real-time analysis gives you an edge as you build your plans. Imagine your potential customers giving you live feedback even before your final product hits the market. Your employees can be assessed during their virtual experiences and live data can be collected for real time analysis or future analytics and reporting.

As a corporate, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are the technology waves you shouldn’t miss out on. Explore possibilities, understand the potential it offers for various needs in your workflow. Embrace the virtual possibilities to enhance your company’s performance in the real world.

Wish to know more about applications of AR and VR in learning? Drop us a mail at info@quodeck.com.